September, 2009 - SUPPORT Summary of a systematic review | print this article |
Over the past several years the roles of pharmacists have expanded from dispensing prescriptions to providing other services to patients and health professionals. These roles include identifying, resolving and preventing drug-related problems and also the provision of ‘non-product related’ health promotion services, such as distributing educational materials.
The review included 25 studies conducted in high-income settings, mostly in the US. Considering that the situation for some LMIC is one in which no comparable service is currently delivered, the two comparisons chosen for this summary were those where the control group was the delivery of no comparable service. Sixteen studies assessed the effects of pharmacists services targeted at patients and nine of services targeted at health professionals.
The interventions involved a number of different activities such as patient education, management of patients’ drug therapy, drug monitoring, patient follow-up and home visits. They tended to be multiple interactions conducted over a period of 2 to 29 months.
The intervention consisted mostly of outreach visits carried out by the pharmacists or the use of computer generated drug profiles. It tended to be single brief interactions (less than an hour) and conducted over a period of 1 to 17 months. The aims of most of these interventions were to decrease the total number of drugs, the number of inappropriate drugs, or the cost of drugs prescribed by physicians.
Chopra M, Munro S, Lavis JN, Vist G, Bennett S. Effects of policy options for human resources for health: an analysis of systematic reviews. Lancet 2008; 371: 668–74.
World Health Organization. Task Shifting: Global Recommendations and Guidelines. Geneva: WHO, 2008. www.who.int/healthsystems/task_shifting/en/
Tomás Pantoja, Faculty of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
None declared. For details, see: http://www.support-collaboration.org/summaries/coi.htm
This summary has been peer reviewed by: Lisa Bero, USA; Angeni Bheekie, South Africa; Fatima Suleman,South Africa; Tracey Perez Koehlmoos, Bangladesh.
Pantoja T. Does expanding the role of outpatient pharmacists improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes?. A SUPPORT Summary of a systematic review. September 2009. http://www.supportcollaboration.org/summaries.htm